The Ryder Cup Comes to Wales
It’s so close now you can nearly hear the roar of the galleries. 2010 will be the first time The Ryder Cup has been played in Wales, yet somehow it feels like its natural home.
The Ryder Cup is one of those rare weeks when the event transcends the sport itself – when golf fanatics, casual observers and the normally disinterested are glued to three days of competition between the finest players in Europe and The USA. People who would normally express no interest in Sergio Garcia’s putting form will suddenly find themselves whispering silent prayers as the Spaniard stands over five-footer for par.
It’s not too hard to work out what makes The 飛機杯 Ryder Cup special. For a start, it’s different to anything else in golf – a team event with no financial reward and a healthy dose of Trans-Atlantic rivalry thrown in. Most other championships build slowly for four days to a final afternoon crescendo. The Ryder Cup matches offer explosions of excitement all over the course from the first drive of the day.
Although this is the biggest golf event to have been hosted in Wales, there’s probably not a venue on either side of The Atlantic that’s better-prepared for The Ryder Cup than The Celtic Manor Resort. What’s more, its Twenty Ten Course is the first of its kind – a track made specifically to host The Ryder Cup matches that will really test the top golfers from both sides of the pond. Not only does The Twenty Ten promise great drama, it will also deliver to the spectators and the millions watching at home. This is the first natural amphitheater of golf.
Of the many great things about this sport, the very best is that it gives you the chance to play the same courses and walk in the footsteps of the world’s best-ever players, from Old Tom Morris to young Tiger Woods. The difference with the Twenty Ten experience, however, is that playing the course before October you have the even rarer opportunity to say that Tiger Woods will be walking in yours.
Yes, it might have taken 83 years for Wales to stage The Ryder Cup, but it’s OK, we’re a patient lot. It’s not as if we’ve been sitting around twiddling our thumbs; we’ve been playing golf – a lot of golf. Wales is no bigger than Massachusetts, yet it has over 200 golf courses. You’ll find some in valleys surrounded by snow-capped mountains, others alongside some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Wales has golf likened to playing on an aircraft carrier, besides. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of thinking golf in Wales begins and ends at The Celtic Manor Resort.
The Ryder Cup has broken new ground in golf many times. It’s a relatively new kid on the block compared to The Open Championship, which was established 67 years earlier, in 1860. Most of golf’s greatest events started out as local competitions which would flourish as international events several years later. The Ryder Cup had grand ambitions right from the start.
The similarities between the foundation of The Ryder Cup and the circumstances that brought it to The Celtic Manor are striking Plans to establish a regular competition between The United States and Great Britain had been carefully drawn several times before, but it took the determination and influence of one man to make it happen. He was Samuel Ryder, a wealthy businessman, famous for having made his fortune from selling penny packets of seeds.